journal

June 2019 JEH: Cover Article

June 2019 issue of the Journal of Environmental Health

Uncovering Environmental Health: An Initial Assessment of the Profession's Health Department Workforce and Practice

June 2019 Journal of Environmental Health (Volume 81, Number 10)

The Journal is very pleased to feature on this month’s cover the published results from a groundbreaking initiative—Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Environmental Health Association, and Baylor University partnered on this initiative to identify and describe key governmental environmental health workforce and practice elements. The UNCOVER EH initiative provides an understanding of the environmental health profession that has been lacking. Furthermore, the results provide a source of data to inform environmental health workforce development initiatives, improve the practice, and establish uniform benchmarks and professional competencies.

 

Uncovering Environmental Health: An Initial Assessment of the Profession’s Health Department Workforce and Practice

Justin A. Gerding, DHA, REHS, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Elizabeth Landeen, National Environmental Health Association

Kaitlyn R. Kelly, Environmental Health Science Program, Department of Environmental Science, Institute of Biomedical Studies, Baylor University

Sandra Whitehead, PhD, National Environmental Health Association

David T. Dyjack, DrPH, CIH, National Environmental Health Association

John Sarisky, MPH, RS, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Bryan W. Brooks, PhD, Environmental Health Science Program, Department of Environmental Science, Institute of Biomedical Studies, Baylor University

Abstract

Environmental health (EH) professionals provide critical services and respond to complex and multifaceted public health threats. The role of these professionals is continually re-emphasized by emergencies requiring rapid and effective responses to address environmental issues and ensure protection of the public’s health. Given the prominence of the EH profession within the public health framework, assessing the governmental health department workforce, practice, and current and future challenges is crucial to ensure EH professionals are fully equipped and prepared to protect the nation’s health. Such an understanding of the EH profession is lacking; therefore, we initiated Understanding the Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision, and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER EH). Through a web-based survey, we identified EH professional demographics, characteristics, education, practice areas, and aspects of leadership and satisfaction. We distributed the survey to a convenience sample of EH professionals working in health departments, limiting the generalizability of results to the entire EH workforce. The results were strengthened, however, by purposive sampling strategies to represent varied professional and workforce characteristics in the respondent universe. The UNCOVER EH initiative provides a primary source of data to inform EH workforce development initiatives, improve the practice, and establish uniform benchmarks and professional competencies.

 

Read the Full Article

UNCOVERING ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF THE PROFESSION'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT WORKFORCE AND PRACTICE (PDF)

 

Additional UNCOVER EH Resources

NEHA UNCOVER EH Web Page

NEHA UNCOVER EH Fact Sheets

Uncovering Earnings and Education in Environmental Health (PDF)

Uncovering Environmental Health Credentials (PDF)

CDC's UNCOVER EH Key Findings Infographic